The Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman and his Skybound Entertainment has optioned the rights to Frederik Pohl’s 1977 novel Gateway for development as a television series.
Gateway is about humanity’s discovery of a space station (dubbed Gateway by the humans) in a hollowed out asteroid, left behind a mysterious long-vanished alien civilization called the Heechee, and food miner Robinette Stetley Broadhead, who leaves Earth after winning the lottery to seek out a better life. It is the first novel in the Heechee saga, comprised of 6 books, and it won the 1977 Nebula and 1978 Hugo and Locus awards, as well as the 1978 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
Gateway has passed through several hands recently. In 2014, Entertainment One Television and De Laurentiis Co. had optioned the novel for television, and then a year later Syfy announced that it had placed the novel on its own development slate, with Entertainment One Television and Universal Cable Productions teaming up, and David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and Josh Pate (Falling Skies) executive producing.
Syfy announced today the premiere dates for Childhood’s End and The Expanse.
Childhood’s End will be a six hour television event, premiering on Monday, December 14th from 8-10pm ET, and continuing on the next two consecutive nights.
The Expanse will premiere on the same night at 10pm ET, then will appear weekly on Tuesdays at 10pm ET for the remainder of its 10 episode run.
Syfy also today announced that it will develop Frederik Pohl’s Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel Gateway about humanity’s encounter with a mysterious, ancient alien civilization as a one-hour scripted series with Entertainment One Television (eOne) and Universal Cable Productions (UCP). eOne will distribute the series worldwide.
David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and Josh Pate (Falling Skies) collaborated on the adaptation and will serve as executive producers on the series. Eick will revise a pilot script written by Pate and serve as showrunner. The series will also be executive produced by Martha De Laurentiis through the De Laurentiis Company, former eOne Television executive Michael Rosenberg, and Lorenzo De Maio. eOne Television’s Gerard Bocaccio, SVP US Scripted Development, will oversee the project for the studio.
In Gateway, humanity discovers an asteroid teeming with the long abandoned spaceships of an advanced alien race — the Heechee – setting in motion a gold rush for alien artifacts and technology. The ships are preprogrammed, transporting their voyagers to distant worlds of riches — or certain death. Undaunted by the peril or the odds, prospector Robinette Broadhead gambles everything on a journey to Gateway. After one nightmare mission, he returns to extraordinary wealth and luxury, but is haunted by the loss of his crewmates, including the love of his life.
De Laurentiis has been watching the rights for Gateway for a while, and pursued it aggressively when it became available, always with the idea of it being a TV series as opposed to a feature film. “Television gives us the opportunity of exploring the rich world of the novel and the complexity of its characters,” executive producer Martha De Laurentiis said. De Laurentiis has a long history with novel adaptations, with the 1984 massive Dune the best known.
Gateway revolves around a space station discovered inside an asteroid built by an alien race called the Heechee, who have long since disappeared. Humans struggle to learn the technology left behind, with little success. Among the abandoned equipment are approximately one thousand small starships, capable of taking one, three, or five crewmembers on a potentially highly profitable journey – but incredibly dangerous, as while they have figured out how to select a destination, they have no idea how long it will take to get there, in which case starvation is entirely possible, or what other dangers they may face along the way or when they arrive. Many never return, but for the chance of untold riches many volunteer. Robinette Broadhead is one of them, having one a lottery to make enough money for a one-way trip to Gateway, and the chance for more. He returns very rich – and very haunted…
Gateway won the 1977 Nebula Award and 1978 Hugo, Locus and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards for Science Fiction Best Novel.